Theater Department of STA & Visitation

Theatrical opportunities abound for Saint Thomas Academy and Convent of the Visitation School students. Involvement in VISTA Productions allows you to apply your scholastic knowledge while nurturing your creative talents. We offer a wide variety of theatrical productions ranging from classical works such as Shakespeare to contemporary pieces by national and local playwrights.

Our season also includes instruction in comedy improvisation techniques, dance and choreography, with numerous opportunities for student leadership in the creative and production process. Every year, we strive to design a season that challenges and enlightens our students while helping them discover their talents.

2017-18 Season

Wendy Short-Hays and Elliott Hays, directors of VISTA Productions, are excited about the new collaborations this year. Learn more about VISTA Productions opportunities for you—including acting, singing, scenic, and technical crews.

Wendy Short-Hays, Randi Rexroth and Elliott Hays
See the directory for contact information


Set in a seaport of Naples, Italy this zany comedy based in Comedia del Arte style is a laugh riot of physicality, over the top characters, fast-paced dialogue and a song or two.  There will be many opportunities for VISTA actors to explore this bombastic comedic style.

November 10,11, 17, 18 @ 7:30 p.m. & November 12, 19 @ 2:00 p.m.


Variety Show

A show featuring STA & VIS upper school students and faculty in varied acts of wide variety…music, dance, novelty, acting, comedy, stupid pet tricks...

January 5, 6 @ 7:30 p.m.


Full Circle - "You Are Here"

A journey of discovery…..

Think of those maps with the big X where it says "You Are Here" connects us to where we begin, the journey we take, who we meet, and what we learn along the way.


February 2, 3 @ 7:30 p.m. & February 4 @ 2:00 p.m.


Les Miserables

Composer:Claude-Michel Schonberg

Playwrights: Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boubill

Lyricists: Alain Boubill, Herbert Kretzmer, Jean-Marc Natel 

Based on novel by Victor Hugo


April 27, 28, May 4, 5 @ 7:30 p.m. & April 29 and May 6 @ 2:00 p.m.


Les Miserables

A theatrical production has many moving parts and like a well-oiled machine the VISTA Les Misérables company of actors and technicians has been required to discover and develop new skills.  Performing in this beloved blockbuster is akin to running a musical marathon.  The VISTA actors have been training with music director Randi Rexroth who has been giving them the vocal foundation and techniques required for this challenging piece.  Hours of rehearsal where directing team Nikko Raymo and Wendy Short-Hays assisted by student stage manager Savannah Rivers lead the students to develop characters and movement , all while singing, add more layers and challenges. Now as they take the work from rehearsal room to stage there are scenic and technical elements to consider.  The building blocks formed up to this point provide a foothold for the company of actors as they climb toward the goal of effective storytelling. 

Technical magic
The technical aspects created by the VISTA crew provide the “magic” that goes hand-in-hand with the actors and musicians.  Skills like welding, wiring, scenic painting, and carpentry, bring the design of technical director Elliott Hays to the stage.  Theatre craft is a wonderful opportunity to meld creative and communication skills with the analytical process.  

Two of our Visitation students took a master class in wig styling with Paul Bigot, professional wig master for Chanhassen Dinner Theatre and the Guthrie Theatre.  During this two-day session, held in the wig room at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Lizzy Dudley and Isabel Geroux toured dressing room spaces, studied costume renderings as they apply to wig design and had hands on experience styling the over 20 wigs we will use in our production.  Lizzy and Isabel have also taken on the daunting task of costuming the production, no small feat. 

VISTA Alums return
We welcome Keelia Wood (Visitation’16) back as guest lighting designer.  Keelia is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota majoring in technical theatre and she brings her expanded knowledge and artistic sensibility to her VISTA home, the place where it all began for her.  Nora Rickey (Visitation ’12) is joining the production team as Assistant Director.  Nora, who worked on our fall show SCAPINO!, brings back a wealth of knowledge and experience from her theatre degree from NYU, Tish School of Drama.  Students are benefitting from her keen eye and artistic perspective as she works to deepen their concept of character and performance.  Richard Wood (STA ’10) who graduated from Carnagie Mellon with a degree in music and education and is currently employed by Apple is guiding the tech team through the intricate sound design process and taking us to a new and more sophisticated level.  Zach Hays (STA ’14) who continues to work in numerous local theatres brings his deep knowledge of Les Misérables and the history of the era to our productions team in the role of dramaturge.  Because this story progresses through many years his perspective has been a valuable one to keep us on track.

The process has been packed with opportunities to create, discover, build, learn and grow.  The VISTA Company is looking forward to sharing their work with you. 

Les Misérables

April 27,28 at 7:30
April 29 at 4:30
May 4,5 at 7:30
May 6 at 2:30 

Ticket reservations may be made at